Anglo-Iberian Relations, 1500-1850 & Community Outreach
Since 2012 I have been a Marie Skłodowska-Curie International Outgoing Fellow, based in the History Department at Harvard University for the first two years, and now at Brunel University in London, UK. My project is entitled: ‘Re-shaping the Black Legend: Conflict, Coalition and the Press: Anglo-Portuguese Relations, c.1480-1680'.
One of the deliverables for my project was an international conference, and this will be taking place on April 2015, in Mértola, Portugal: Anglo-Iberian Relations, 1500-1850. The conference will bring together academics and heritage professionals, graduates and established scholars from across Europe, as well as North and South America. The current draft program is available here:
The aim for this conference is to become biennial and to strengthen the links between academia and the heritage industries. For our inaugural year, I made the decision to undertake some community outreach in our host town. Rather than just have a large group of academics turn up, eat, drink, attend the town's venues and tourist attractions, and then leave, I thought we could do more in - and with - the town. So I set up a project with the local school: a competition for the students, on the theme of the history of Anglo-Portuguese Relations. The students could choose a topic of interest to them and could choose to write an essay or create a work of art. Their entries have been superb! Porto Editorial has kindly agreed to sponsor the event and will provide educational prizes. Academics attending the conference will judge the entries, and the prizes will be awarded on the opening day of the conference. You can read more about this - and see some of the competition entries - on my blog:
Being a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow is a wonderful opportunity. It's also an opportunity to give something back to the communities we touch with our research.